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Win fails to lift Strauss' mood

England skipper calls for life bans on match-fixers

Strauss: Victory overshadowed

Strauss: Victory overshadowed

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England captain Andrew Strauss admits the spot-fixing allegations levelled against Pakistan have completely overshadowed his side's Test series victory.

"The game of cricket is in the headlines for I suppose not just the wrong reasons, but the worst of reasons."

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The fourth day of the final Test match between the two sides was played out in what Strauss described as a "sombre atmosphere" after newspaper reports alleged that members of the Pakistan team had been deliberately bowling no-balls in return for money.

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed later told Sky Sports News that three players - captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif - had their mobile telephones taken away by police last night after being interviewed about the newspaper allegations.

Nevertheless, England put the off-field distractions to one side on Sunday morning by cruising to an innings and 225-run victory at Lord's.

Tough day

The result wrapped up a 3-1 series triumph, however Strauss was far from in a celebratory mood at the close of play.

He told Sky Sports: "Yeah it was a pretty tough day. We turned up this morning knowing our job was to get the job done and finish the game off and we did that pretty well but the atmosphere out there was pretty sombre.

"I suppose that's understandable because the game of cricket is in the headlines for I suppose not just the wrong reasons, but the worst of reasons.

"I can't really comment on the specific allegations but clearly it's been a tough day."

England have now won seven of their last eight Test matches as preparations for the winter's Ashes series in Australia continue to take shape.

However Strauss, who led his team to earlier wins in Nottingham and Birmingham as well as the home of cricket, admitted the series triumph will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Asked if the spot-fixing scandal has taken the gloss off the victory, Strauss said: "I think right at the moment it does, definitely. But hopefully in time we can sit back and the context of our victory will become clear and we'll be able to remember the very good things we did in the series.

"This Test match in particular was one of the outstanding Test matches in terms of wresting momentum and (Jonathan) Trott and (Stuart) Broad changing it completely for us with the best partnership I have ever seen from an England pair.

Life bans

"There was some very good bowling on the back of that, but at the moment it seems a bit overshadowed."

Strauss has now called for the International Cricket Council to issue life bans on any players found guilty of match-fixing.

"Clearly with a lot of these match-fixing allegations, it is so hard to prove things categorically one way or another - which is one of the real difficulties," he said.

"But if someone is found categorically guilty of doing it, the only way for me is for you not to be able to play international cricket again.

"It's important the police and the ICC do their investigation and hopefully one way or another this issue will be dealt with and we won't have to deal with it again in the future."

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